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Non-Review Review: Funny People

Funny People is the very definition of “self-indulgent”. It’s a series of comedians from both the big leagues – movie stars – and the smaller circles – the improv stand-up circuit – reflecting on how difficult life is for an entertainer. Be it the generalisation that showbiz types are all cynical and disconnected to the point of being anhedonic, or the observation that fame and success typically come with a high personal cost. Of course, coming from director Judd Atapow – who carved out his earlier career with comedies centred on everyman (okay, maybe “slacker”) types like Knocked-Up or The Forty-Year-Old Virgin – a film about the types of circles that he moved in was a risky venture, one which would definitely represent a move away from the “common man” appeal of his earlier films. And at least those films had the gift of brevity.

My girlfriend would like you all to know that apparently I wear shirts like this...

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Film on Film: Is Now the Time for Showbiz Movies?

I’ll admit that I’ve never really understood why Hollywood is so preoccupied with showing the rest of the world how show business works. It was announced today that the book I’m Dying Up Here will be getting the film treatment. That particular bestseller offers a behind-the-scenes look at the early days of the New York stand-up comedy scene, culminating in the famous strike over pay. The characters on screen will be any number of world-famous comedians, from Tim Allen to Robin Williams. Part of me wonders if the recession is a suitable time for this sort of Hollywood introspection.

You may be dying up here, but the celebrity-based bio-pic is alive and well...

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